CBN Fines Diamond, Stanbic, Other Banks, Heavily For Breaking FX Rules

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has wielded the ‘big stick’ on four commercial banks in the country; Diamond bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC and Citibank for violating Nigeria’s foreign exchange repatriation rules.

According to an online source Bounce news, “the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN imposed financial sanctions totaling 5.87 billion naira on the banks under its regulatory purview and asked them to refund the sum of $8,134,312,397.63 for violating extant laws and regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006.”

The sanctions were announced in Abuja on Wednesday by the Director of Corporate Communications for the CBN, Isaac Okorafor.

Okarafor informed the public that the sanctions became necessary in the light of reports of issuance of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of several offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited as well as the results of the subsequent investigations carried out by the CBN to ascertain the facts behind the reports in March 2018.

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In light of its findings, the CBN subsequently ordered the Managements of Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC and Citibank as well as MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to immediately refund the sum of $8,134,312,397.63, illegally repatriated by the company to the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to figures obtained from the CBN, Standard Chartered Bank received the heaviest fines with N2,470,604,767.13, Stanbic-IBTC was fined N1,885,852,847.45, CitiBank Nigeria N1,265,541,562.31 while Diamond Bank was fined 250 million Naira only.

According to the CBN spokesperson, all four banks were fined for violating Nigerian Forex rules and the sanctions were deemed necessary after investigations were concluded on allegations of remittances by the four banks of Forex with irregular certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued.

Mr. Okorafor, also said the investigation took a while so that the CBN could carry out thorough investigations into the allegations while making sure all parties involved in the matter got a fair hearing.

He finally admonished banks and multinational companies operating in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the provisions of all extant laws and regulations of the country in their foreign exchange transactions, because failure to do so would lead to sanctions such as being experienced by the banks and MTN Nigeria.

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